since 1878

Ipswich Town (3) 5 - 2 (1) Oxford United

Division 1 1997-98

Tuesday, February 24, 1998

Referee: P Danson

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 11,824

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2732
























Match Report

Ipswich Town 5 Oxford United 2

Davd Johnson netted his first career hat-trick against Oxford United as Ipswich Town set a new club record by scoring five goals in the third successive home game.

The 5-2 win over Oxford takes Town up to seventh position, only being kept out of the play-off places on goals scored, after a run of 19 points from the last 21.

Things began badly for Ipswich when goalkeeper Richard Wright had to leave the field after 90 seconds following a clash with O'Neill Donaldson which left him with a nasty injury from a boot in the face.

While he was off having 20 stitches, Matt Holland went between the posts and was beaten on 10 minutes when Kevin Francis headed home from a Joey Beauchamp corner.

Wright's return after 15 minutes of treatment and Ipswich's return to a full complement of 11 men, saw them tear into Oxford for the rest of the half.

They had gone close a couple of times before equalising on 28 minutes through Alex Mathie, who slid a shot home from a Micky Stockwell through ball which was touched on by Mauricio Taricco.

Town went ahead on 34 minutes when David Johnson escaped his marker at a corner from Bobby Petta and flicked the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.

The home side made it three goals in a 10-minute spell on 38 minutes when a Taricco long ball found Johnson in a race with Steve Davis.

He beat the Oxford man to the ball, lobbed it over the head of advancing keeper Phil Whitehead, and then stroked it into an empty net.

Johnson could have had a hat-trick early in the second half, but saw three attempts blocked by a combination of Whitehead and his defenders.

Town got a fourth goal on 55 minutes when Johnson forced Whitehead to spill another Petta corner, and Holland prodded the loose ball home.

Four minutes later, Oxford got back into the game after Holland was adjudged to have nudged over Beauchamp in the box, and Donaldson sent Wright the wrong way from the penalty spot.

The game looked as if it might peter out after that, but Johnson was determined to get a hat-trick and did so with five minutes to go, after his mazy run forced Phil Gilchrist to chop him down.

Johnson took the penalty himself and slotted it right into the corner to seal a great night both for him personally and the team as a whole. Johnson now has 15 goals for Town and 23 in total this season, and he and Mathie have netted 13 times in six games together as a front partnership.

Ipswich now enter a crucial run of five games against Sunderland and Sheffield United away, Charlton at home, Stockport away and Wolves at home - all of them matches against play-off contenders.

Town could not be in better form going into those games now, and none of their opponents will be relishing the prospect of trying to stop the Blues goal machine.

TEAM (played in 4-4-2 formation): Wright, Taricco, Mowbray, Cundy, Clapham, Stockwell (sub, Uhlenbeek, 88 mins), Holland, Dyer, Petta (sub, Sonner, 69), Mathie (sub, Scowcroft, 80), Johnson.

Attendance: 11,824.

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